We's in California

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Libraries. So good.

I would say that we are avid readers. Avid is a term usually only used when people describe their reading habits and want other people to think they're smart because they are in fact "avid" readers. The problem for Dayna and I is that in addition to being avid readers, we move a lot so buying books has become kind of a hassle. The boxes...oh the boxes. So although when I become a "grown up" and buy a "house" I want to be one of those people who has a big book shelf of all the books I've read, we've decided that for now the library is a better option.

Boy did we find a good one. It's fairly close and has a great selection of books. I think we've been turned off by libraries for a while because in Winnipeg the Centennial has been closed for two years and Winnipeg's smaller branches are not very good. They just ain't. Dayna checked out some high class Marilynne Robinson literature, her usual delicious veggie cookbook, and a "How to Speak Spanish and MEAN It" cd set. I got a few local history books, a book about the history of religious extremeism in the Middle East (what extremeism?), and a Las Vegas travel guide. Screw Mossad and Hamas, I want Celine Dion!

Three points about our library:
1) Just like in Canada there were posters of celebrities saying how a awesome it is to read. But instead of Elvis Stojko in a tutleneck there was LL Cool J and other rappers who endorse other things in their music besides reading. Like shooting people.

2) The library was connected to a "Child Development Center". People in Los Angeles seem to be overly interested in the development of their children. People live vicariously through their kids to a degree that I've never seen in Canada. In the US since college is more of a priveledge and WAY more expensive than Canada and it seems like your whole life revolves around getting into college, even at a very young age. Every single minivan you see has a sticker that says something annoying like "My Child is an Honor Student at I.M. Greedy Middle School". I say let kids be kids. I would settle for "My Child Hasn't Done Drugs Yet!".

3) Most of the people in the library were on the computers wasting time on or playing games. I think it's unfortunate that this is what libraries are being reduced to. Every time I'm in a library I realize how awesome it is and I'm scared that when I retire at 32 and follow what I now realize is my true calling, there won't be any real libraries left that need librarians. I think that in a world without libraries we would be left with an ignorant population. People would have no insight into the world we live, be ignorant for the most part, and most would actually find this billboard funny:

On the other hand, if we keep libararies and reading culture alive, if people learn and understand their own history and develop a love and respect for the written word, then we will be rewarded with a population who just as I, when they see this on the side of the road, know that it is funny and take a picture:

They look like boobs!


  • A person's bookshelf will tell you more about them than any photograph ever will. It is like a window into their soul. You should see Mom's.

    By Anonymous Dad, at December 19, 2005  

  • Have you read any Marilynne Robinson's non-fiction stuff, just curious what you thought considering her ... wait, what? "I.M. Greedy"? Didn't he write "I Didn't Say I Wasn't Unselfish"? Love that book. It's very inter... what? Oh it's a joke.

    By Anonymous blade, at December 19, 2005  

  • OK. I must say that that burger king ad is genious. Pure gold.

    By Blogger tim and chandra, at December 19, 2005  

  • Sometimes I listen to this band called "Books". That's sort of like reading, right? No?

    By Anonymous chris, at December 20, 2005  

  • Dad, I envy mom's bookshelf. It seems every time I come home it has spread into another room.

    And Tim, why do you have to love everything that everyone you know hates? Like cassette tapes. Most people just pretend to like tapes, but you really love them!

    By Anonymous gareth, at December 20, 2005  

  • Or "Snow Dogs". Tim, why do you love "Snow Dogs" so much?

    By Anonymous chris, at December 21, 2005  

  • Joel, I mean "Blade" I am now reading Gilead and have previously read Housekeeping, because I heard it was on your list of must reads.

    By Anonymous dayna, at December 21, 2005  

  • I happen think that billboard is hilarious (and I'm vegan).
    The new "millennium libray" is actually really nice. When you come home in January or whenever you should check it out. I've been thinking of applying there when I get laid off. Oh yea, aparently my hotel is being turned into condos in the next 6mnths to a year. Not for sure, but most likely. I've been working there for 3 years which equals 6 weeks severence pay. Awesome!

    By Anonymous Tracy, at December 22, 2005  

  • It's frightening to think L.A. libraries are better than someplace else.

    Love your blog. I referenced it.

    Does Winnipeg still have a Folklorama?

    By Blogger James Hames, at December 23, 2005  

  • I just moved out here from Florida with a whole bookshelf loaded with, of course, books. What a hassle! I plan on donating them the next time we move and using the library from now on.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 18, 2006  

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